Intelligent news from Mozambique

Zitamar Daily Briefing, 26 June 2018

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Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 26 June, 2018.

The latest from Zitamar News:

Frelimo holding company sells cement plant stake in $85m deal
The opaque deal has more than a whiff of campaign fundraising about it

MDM loses another mayoral candidate, this time in Tete
Ricardo Tomas follows Venâncio Mondlane in deserting the MDM

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The best of the rest:

  • Nyusi: Government will be relentless in pursuit of Cabo Delgado attackers
  • Insurgent attack in Palma district kills five
  • Nyusi: There is no alternative to Renamo disarmament and demobilisation
  • Government may concession Gaza roads
  • Chimoio government spent $8,500 on podium for Nyusi

Nyusi: Government will be relentless in pursuit of Cabo Delgado attackers (VoA, Noticias)
In his first public remarks on the insurgency in Cabo Delgado, Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi said that the government will be tireless in its effort to neutralize the armed group responsible for the attacks that have plagued the northern province since last October. Defense and Security Forces will use “all methods” to make the attacks cease “as soon as possible”, Nyusi said in his independence day address. Nyusi described the group as “evildoers” and “insurgents” acting in small, isolated cells.
It’s hard to tell what effect the reinforced armed forces have had on the insurgency so far. Attacks have not stopped, but the insurgents clearly do not have a clear run at the province. It is important to keep a close eye on Nyusi’s promise to use ‘all methods’ – to stop the insurgency; will human rights be respected or forgotten?

Insurgent attack in Palma district kills five (Lusa)
Insurgents killed five civilians and burned down 120 homes in an attack on Friday night against the village of Maganja, in the Palma district of Cabo Delgado province. The attack took place just five kilometers from construction sites for natural gas infrastructure, and over 100 kilometers from the previous attack in Litandakua, Macomia district.
Preliminary work has restarted on the gas projects – in particular, on resettling the local community – but all non-essential staff have been evacuated from the area, and those who are there are being strictly confined to the camp, Zitamar understands.

Nyusi: There is no alternative to Renamo disarmament and demobilisation (RFI, O Pais)
Also in his independence day address, Nyusi called for quick resolution and implementation of a plan to demobilise Renamo fighters and reintegrate them into Mozambican society. His statement seemed to support his party’s hard line in parliament against passing decentralising reforms until demobilisation is complete. Renamo parliamentary chief Ivone Soares said on Friday that, in the deal between Nyusi and her late uncle, Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, there was an understanding that Renamo forces would demobilize by October elections, but that there was no explicit linkage between decentralisation and demobilisation.
Both parties are still running their internal political processes as though municipal elections will take place in October as scheduled, so a deal on demobilisation to save the elections is still possible. As Joseph Hanlon notes, however, any deal will have to be concluded in the next month because candidate lists for municipal elections must be submitted in July.

Government may concession Gaza roads (AIM)
The Mozambican government is raising the possibility of concessioning some roads in Gaza province to pay for road repairs, according to Public Works minister João Machatine. The roads were destroyed by floods in 2013 and 2014 and still require more than $250 million in maintenance.
The Mozambique government recently authorised tolls on the EN6 from Beira to the Zimbabwe border, and has said previously that it wants to toll the entire highway network in Mozambique.

Chimoio government spent $8,500 on podium for Nyusi (VoA)
The city of Chimoio, capital of Manica province, spent roughly $8,500 to build a podium for President Nyusi’s scheduled July visit to the city. The work was awarded directly to the Jetro Construções company, which will build the podium that will then be used by Nyusi for a few hours in what amounts to a campaign rally for Frelimo.

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